How do you keep your creativity flowing? How do you train your eyes to see photographically? I have creative projects that help me with that. I have a few projects going, most of them are long term projects.
One project is the "Project Green" where I try to find images where green is the dominant color or the subject. What I found helpful in this project is that I look at the things around me, trying to notice things that are green. There are so many things that are green. While plant images seem the most obvious, what would you shoot if the landscape is thickly covered in white? While I shot the image "Connected"
during the fall season it certainly helps to illustrate my point as this wall with the electronic box was found in a parking garage nearby. (More images from my Project Green
Another way to help my creativity is to engage in photgraphic challenges. I am currently working on a year-long challenge where I take an image fitting the theme of the week each week. This process, I find, is often much more about being creative. I challenge myself to not go for the obvious, be careful in finding subjects and interpretations of the theme. I also try to avoid to take snapshots in a hurry, just to fill the theme. I have learned to envision how I want my images to look and then put that into practice. The "Glowing Snowman"
is an example from that project, as I had to capture the theme "winter" at a point of time when we did not have winter. I also could have shot that snowman at any point of time during the day, but only with the rich blues from the fading daylight and the glow being the right color, I managed to get this image. Just like I had imagined it. Where can you find challenge themes: there are many websites out there - digital photography school, dpreview, I personally use a Google Plus 52 project (more images from that)
Now while not all my images will be suitable stock images, I learn to play with different techniques, be a better observer of light and composition and clearly think about concepts and ideas more carefully, something that will help me in producing stock images as well.